- Cheri Honeycutt, M.Ed.
Cultivate Your Tribe
“You are the sum total of the people you hang out with the most.”
I remember the first time I heard this statement. I had heard it before but when I was at the National Speakers Association conference several years back was the first time it really landed.
Since like attracts like, I could see how most of us gravitate toward people who we are similar to. Then as a group we are in alignment with one another. Combined with what I also knew and know even more deeply now, is that people rarely want to change . . . we get in a groove if you will. If we’re not careful those grooves become ruts. We tend to hang out with the same people most of the time.
Hanging out with the same people can be fantastic. But it can also be unproductive and maybe even dangerous.
In this post I’m going to talk about the importance of cultivating your tribe because your tribe directly affects your vibe! Who we hang out with the most can determine whether we have the results we want or not?
Your Tribe Affects Your Vibe
I’m incredibly fortunate - I have a cadre of friends I’ve known for a long time. I refer to them as “my people”. Many have been with me for over 40 years. They are my “lifers”. These are the people who will be with me through all of the good and bad times ahead. I have no doubt who’s faces I will see should I get sick, or when my parents exit this world or anything terrible or difficult happens. These are also people who I can count on for the best stories that make me pee my pants laughing, go on future vacations, attend weddings and funerals and celebrations of all kinds. These are my people.
I’ve learned that not everyone has these kinds of people nor does everyone want these kinds of relationships. But for me, I get great comfort in having this tribe.
But let’s go back to the statement I said at the beginning of this podcast. We are the sum total of the people we hang out with the most. In essence this means we are a compilation of those we spend the most time with. Our tribe is a reflection of who we are. The speaker who I heard this from was urging us to take an inventory and see if we liked what we saw. Were we spending our time with folks who were elevating us or bringing us down? Folks whose values were in alignment with us? Encouraging our best selves to come forward. Held a vision of our highest good.
So, I did that. I took an inventory look. At the time, I was raising my kids and the majority of people I hung with were parents. And good ones at that. I was so blessed with some of the wisest parents I could have assembled. And that was no accident. I was intentional about having relationships with people who would talk about parenting, brainstorm and call me on my stuff. I don’t think I could have made it through those years without this core group of women and men. Many of these are still My People.
But I also realized as I did some analysis is that there were some “types” of people who were missing. At the time I was also building a speaking business, considering stepping back into the dating world and trying to substantially grow my income and break through a scarcity mindset. I didn’t have a lot of people in my sphere that matched these goals. I needed to seek out additions to my life.
Let me do a sidebar here. When I did this assessment, I also realized there were a few people in my life that were bringing me down - were depleting me. That may very well happen to you. You may do this assessment and look at your people and discover that one or more of your closest people are depleting you or even causing you harm. You may have to consider letting go of someone. You may open your eyes and see that a person who is taking a lot of your energy and time is actually toxic.
This happened to someone very dear to me. As she was planning her wedding and doing all the festivities that go along with that happy time, she realized one of the women in her life was wreaking havoc. This was someone my friend knew was challenging on some level, but it came to a head, or perhaps became more apparent, juxtaposed with this happy time. When my friend stepped back, she could see that her friend was all kinds of negative. To remove her from her life took a lot of courage but she did it. She quite literally moved her out. As in, you can no longer be my bridesmaids nor can you come to the wedding. The result? A huge weight was lifted. The splinter was out. Sometimes someone has to go. Be open to seeing this, even if it’s hard.
In my case, I didn’t need to get rid of any that was really close to me, but I did begin to distance myself from a few folks who were not a good fit for me. I just spent less time, set up more healthy boundaries with my time and energy. M y real goals was to find and vote people ON my island.
For example, I was a professional speaker. I had lots of speaker friends and connections which I highly valued but the vast majority (as in all but one) of my speaker friends had no children. How they managed their time and resources was incredibly different from me. I needed to have more interaction with those who were in a similar situation as I was. Quite frankly my no-children friends would sometimes tell me I was using my children as an excuse for not being more successful. They had no way to relate to what was on my plate and were often unhelpful with the kinds of statements. Their intent was good, but they were wrong. So, I needed more entrepreneurs in general and speakers specifically who were parents. The best would be single parents.
Also during this assessment I realized the majority of the people I hung out with were either content or resigned to have the same income they had right then. Many had what I would describe as a scarcity mindset. They were not working to raise their salary, change their thoughts and views about abundance and money; something I was working desperately to do. I needed to search out folks who, like me, wanted to open themselves up to more abundance and greater amounts of money.
I realized I was not hanging out with people whose spiritual beliefs lined up to mine, nor their design to date, etc. etc.
I didn’t need every person to align with every one of my goals, but I did need to have relationships with people who could relate, champion, brainstorm and mastermind around my top goals.
In other words, I looked into the future, at the future I wanted and where I wanted to be and then go cultivate relationships with people who were already there or who were headed to the same place.
You have to hang out with others who want to go to a similar place as you do. Think Weight Watcher, 12-step programs. Facebook groups, learning communities!
Now It’s Your Turn!
Okay, grab a pen and a piece of paper.
Imagine it’s 6 months from now. If you’re listening to this in real time, we’re a little halfway through 2020 (perhaps the wonkiest year ever). So it’s early 2021. What do you want to be celebrating? I’m going to be quiet for a little bit, dropping in cues. Just imagine you’re where you want to be in your life in 6 months. What are you celebrating?
A new or better job?
X number of dollars in the bank?
X number of pounds released. Or wearing a specific outfit.
In love or in a deeper more fulfilling place with your current relationship
Now, keeping this same vision in your mind, ask “What did you do to get here? Did you change habits? If so, which ones? Did you release or change patterns? How did you use your time? Did you spend money or other resources in a specific way? How did you get there?
Now, go back to your vision six months from now. What kind of support do you need to get where you want to be in 6 months? What kind of tribe and what kind of vibe would catapult you to where you want to be?
Don’t force these answers. In fact, let them percolate in the coming days. Really allow your wise self to bring to you some answers
Now, jot down the name of the 5 - 10 people you hang out with the most. Or the people who have the most influence on you on a daily basis.
Now compare your list of people with your 6 month vision. Get a felt sense of whether this person is support you, is somewhat neutral or is holding you back? You have to look deeply here because someone can say supportive things, but their intention or behavior says the opposite. Example: they hear you want to lose weight, but they are constantly asking you to go out to eat or split dessert, etc.
I did this exercise a few months ago and realized there were a few glaring holes in my tribe. For example, I had/have some real blocks around money and income. I needed to up my game and deliberately hang out with others who were actively busting through their belief around abundance. I found this powerful group, a mastermind around abundance and WOW. Such powerful shifts!!!!
I also realized I was not fully using or realizing or appreciating what my natural gifts are. So, I found a group to explore this as well. Again, powerful shifts because I have immersed myself in something with others.
In essence, little tribes that increase my vibes around specific issues.
In these two examples, I stepped into a learning/spiritual environment and communities to gain something that was missing. I sought out to find a tribe whose vibe matched where I wanted to arrive.
Mastermind groups are powerful. From having a regular sit down with one or two friends to support one another, to paying to be a part of a group with a professional coach and all places in between. There are many formats for leaning into the power of the collective and creating a brain trust that will help you get where you want to go.
Beginning in late September I’m hosting a 12-week transformational mastermind experience. One focused on living On Purpose. I’m creating a powerful container for a group of people focused on shifting their life in deliberate ways to head them toward better health, healthier relationships, more prosperity and living life on their terms. I’ve made it extremely affordable and I’m limiting the number who can participate. Members will have tons of connection time with me and the other members, we will do many exercises that will take us deep, there will be a lot of accountability, tons of laughter and generative discussions. I’ve created this because if I had to name one thing that has helped me in my life more than anything is the time I’ve spent with others who held similar goals and vision as I do. In other words, being a part of a brain trust is the secret ingredient to success!
You are the sum total of the people you hang out with the most. I’m urging you to take stock in what you want your life to look like and see if your tribe can get you there. Make sure there are people who are in your sphere who love and support not just who you are but who and what you want to be and do.
When we lock arms with others who have a similar vision as out, we all grow. exponentially. Hand with people who want to create their life ON Purpose!!!!